On Wednesday, April 20, the Senate Finance Committee approved provisions put forward by Sen. Chuck Grassley to fix IRS whistleblower treatment and improve taxpayer rights.

“The IRS needs to put out the welcome mat for tax fraud whistleblowers, not treat them like skunks at a picnic,” Grassley said. 
Continue Reading Grassley’s Efforts to Improve Treatment of IRS Whistleblowers Approved

April 18, 2016. Today is “Tax Day,” when millions of Americans honestly pay their fair share of taxes. Today is also a day we all owe thanks to the whistleblowers who forced over 54,000 American tax cheats who held illegal accounts in Switzerland to plead guilty to their crimes and pay their back taxes and penalties.

These prosecutions, both civil and criminal, have also resulted in major Swiss banks going bankrupt, others pleading guilty to crimes and paying billions in penalties. All told, as of today over $13.769 billion has been collected from the Swiss banking cheats, and billions more will be recovered as the prosecutions continue.

Here is the story.
Continue Reading 13.769 Billion Reasons to Thank Whistleblowers on Tax Day

This past Saturday, February 20, 2016, Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France revealed the contents of an internal UBS memo that discussed “navigating below the radar screen” to grow its business by enticing French clients to hide their money in Swiss bank accounts. The memo indicates that “UBS was perfectly aware of the risk” of its illegal practices.
Continue Reading Sounding the Alarm: U.S. Whistleblower’s Involvement in French UBS Investigation

On July 6, 2015 the Internal Revenue Service’s Whistleblower Office released its Report to Congress for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014.

According to the report, in 2014 the Whistleblower Office received more claim submissions than in any other year. The total claims received in 2014 were 14,365, an increase of 3,845 compared to FY 2013.

The IRS paid 101 awards to whistleblowers totaling $52,281,628. However, reductions in expenditures required by sequestration reduced the whistleblower award payments in 2014 by $3,764,722. The total award amount, before sequestration, represented 16.9% of the total amount IRS collected as a result of whistleblowers’ claims. 
Continue Reading IRS Whistleblower Program Releases 2014 Report to Congress

In a significant pro-whistleblower decision yesterday, the Tax Court in a decision 144 TC 15 (Whistleblower 21276-13W v. IRS) made it clear that the IRS couldn’t deny a whistleblower an award because they filed a request for an award after the IRS had collected the fines and penalties from the targeted business.  The whistleblowers’ extensive cooperation with IRS and law enforcement agents was directly responsible for the IRS collecting a large monetary penalty from the targeted business.  Shortly after the IRS successfully concluded its case against the targeted business the whistleblowers filed a claim for an award under the IRS whistleblower program citing their extensive assistance to the IRS during the investigation.

The lead counsel representing the whistleblower in Tax Court was National Whistleblower Center (NWC) advisor Dean Zerbe of ZFFJ law firm. NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn and NWC General Counsel David K. Colapinto were also counsel for the whistleblowers. This is the first evidentiary trial for tax whistleblowers that has been held by the Tax Court.


Continue Reading Tax Court Delivers Victory For Tax Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reports that Swiss bank whistleblowers Bradley Birkenfeld and Hervé Falciani are schedule to take part in a panel discussion at the OffshoreAlert Conference in Miami Beach May 3-5.

The panel entitled “Inside the UBS & HSBC Leaks,” will take participants  “inside the UBS and HSBC leaks and discuss issues material to whistleblowing, including the treatment of whistleblowers by law enforcement and tax collection agencies, how the system can be improved, the extent of global tax evasion, and the involvement of the world’s major banks.”
Continue Reading Swiss Banking Whistleblowers to Appear at Offshore Banking Conference

Washington, D.C. January 21, 2015. The National Whistleblower Center issued a statement today highly critical of the Canadian Offshore Tax Informant Program.

“Unfortunately it is likely to fail,” stated Stephen M. Kohn, the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center.

National Whistleblower Center’s Statement on Canada’s Offshore Tax Informant Program: 
Continue Reading NWC Issues Statement On Canada’s Offshore Tax Informant Program

The National Whistleblower Center’s (NWC) Senior Policy Advisor – Dean Zerbe and his law firm ZFF&J – were recently in Tax Court as the first lawyers to litigate in a hearing whether a whistleblower meets the three-part test of the IRS whistleblower award program. In brief, the three-part test is: 1) the whistleblower provided information to the government; 2) the IRS acted on that information; and, 3) the IRS action resulted in collected proceeds.

While the case remains under seal, the whistleblower was able to show that the IRS denial letter was issued in error and that the whistleblower met the three-part test – in spades. Finally having their day in Tax Court to have the facts brought forward was in of itself a victory for the whistleblower.
Continue Reading Tax Whistleblowers Alert: Protecting Tax Whistleblower Rights If You Get a Denial Letter

In an editorial published yesterday in Politico Magazine, Senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Grassley criticize the IRS whistleblower program. The editorial, “Will the IRS Ever Listen?” states that the backlog on cases is too long and that the IRS needs to better manage its relationships with whistleblowers.  They point out that 799 whistleblower claims made prior to 2007 remain open.

The Senators made reference to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s August 2014 Policy statement, stating they hope his “message is just the beginning of real reforms in the way whistleblowers are treated.” But state that while there has been some success with the IRS whistleblower program that they routinely hear complaints from whistleblowers about how the IRS handles their cases.
Continue Reading Senators advise IRS to be more receptive to whistleblowers

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen issued an August 2014 policy statement expressing his strong support for the work the IRS Whistleblower Office.  We hope that the IRS will act in conformance with this policy statement and aggressively support whistleblowers.

The full text of this policy statement is linked here.

On August 20, 2014,  the IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, John Dalrymple, released a memo in which he shared the results of a comprehensive review of the IRS Whistleblower Office operating guidelines. The purpose of the review was to improve the timeliness and quality of decisions as the Service evaluates and acts on whistleblower information. 
Continue Reading IRS Whistleblower Office News